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NACDL News: Manning Granted Stay of Execution by Mississippi Supreme Court
By Ivan J. Dominguez
NACDL News columns.
Willie Jerome Manning, who had been scheduled to be executed by the State of Mississippi on May 7, 2013, at 6:00 p.m., was granted a stay of execution by the Mississippi Supreme Court “pending further Order of this Court.” The order came less than four hours before the scheduled execution. Significant doubt had been raised concerning the forensic evidence used to convict Manning of murdering two university students in 1992. Specifically, attorneys for Manning directed the court to three recent Department of Justice letters, the first of which, dated May 2, set forth that “we have determined that testimony containing erroneous statements regarding microscopic hair comparison analysis was used in this case.”
NACDL is pleased that the disclosure of problematic forensic testimony prompted the Mississippi Supreme Court to stay Manning’s execution and allow the judicial process to continue. A complete copy of the order, including Presiding Justice Randolph’s dissent, is available on NACDL’s website.